Wisconsin's heart is dotted with small towns encompassed by natural beauty. Eau Claire
("clear water") boasts a varied heritage as a center of Native American culture, a lumber town and an agricultural hub. History buffs will find out much more in several local museums. Eau Claire is graced with many miles of walking and cycling paths. The city serves as a jumping-off point for such communities as Augusta
, which includes a living Amish community accessible by visitors. Nearby is Dells Mill, constructed entirely of wood.
Antiques are abundant in Menomonie on the Red Cedar River. The town is the starting point of the Red Cedar State Trail, featuring a lengthy former railroad bridge. Dating to 1867, the Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company in Chippewa Falls is that city's oldest business, where visitors can sample brews. Three hundred-acre Irvine Park is another landmark within city limits.
Wisconsin's Ice Age Trail, a glacial march through 31 counties, is the main subject at the Chippewa Moraine State Rec Area in New Auburn. In Clark County, Neillsville boasts the 1897 Jail Museum and nearby Highground, the state's Vietnam veterans' memorial park.
Ginseng is an unexpected Wisconsin product, a medicinal root bought and sold in Wausau. South of the city is Rib Mountain State Park, a primordial geologic formation whose viewing tower offers a commanding view of the Wisconsin River Valley. The town of Ripon rightly claims to be the Republican Party's birthplace in 1854. Lake Winnebago is the state's largest inland body of water.